December 2022 Community Day Catch Guide (2024)

Note from the Gamepress Team: Please accept our apologies for not making this article available in time for those in non-USA Timezones. Due to the Holiday Season, our team is running a bit behind in some areas.

Pokemon GO’s December Community Days are on December 17th and 18th, 2pm to 5pm local time. As with previous December Community Days, instead of a new featured Pokemon, Community Day Pokemon from the past 2 years will be available to evolve with their previous Community Day Moves. This is a great opportunity for players to get Community Day exclusive attacks they may have missed out on, and to “upgrade” by evolving Pokemon with better IVs without having to spend an Elite TM.

With 33 different species to evolve (45 with Shadow Pokemon), it can be overwhelming to know what to focus on. The article below highlights the most valuable Pokemon with their Community Day exclusive attacks, highlights their utility in PvP, and gives some PvP IV tips to help you pick the best Pokemon to evolve. Given that several Mega Evolutions are also good in PvP when allowed, Mega Pokemon are also highlighted too.

December 2022 Event Calendar

Best of the Best

Altaria

Mega Altaria

Altaria

  • Best Moveset: Dragon Breath + Sky Attack + Moonblast*
  • Used in: Great League and Ultra League
  • Mega used in: Great League, Ultra League, and Raids

Moonblast isn’t exactly a “game changer” for Altaria, but it is Altaria’s best in slot 2nd Charge Move. You wouldn’t want to burn an Elite TM on Moonblast, but if you could evolve it, you’d definitely want it. If you’re serious about the Great League or have plans to use Altaria in the Ultra League, then you want to evolve a few Moonblast Altaria.

Altaria PvP IVs: We recently made the Altaria PvP IV Deep Dive covering all you need to know about Altaria’s stats complete with PvP IV tables. In short, you want enough Atk and Def to avoid being bullied by Trevenant while also having at least 139 HP for mirror matches.

While Megas haven’t been featured in Great League or Ultra League Cups, the time could come when they are. On paper, Mega Altaria isn’t that great in the Great League, but could be an interesting core breaker for the Ultra League. Given that Mega Altaria is a Dragon/Fairy-type Pokemon, Moonblast is essential for its performance. The Altaria PvP IV Deep Dive also features stat goals Mega Altaria may want to be mindful of for the Ultra League.

Garchomp

Mega Garchomp

Garchomp

  • Best Moveset: Dragon Tail or Mud Shot + Earth Power* + Outrage
  • Used in: Master League and Raids

Garchomp and Mega Garchomp have two distinct flavors: Earth Power or Sand Tomb. Which Ground-type Charge Move is better and paired with which Fast Move is a huge debate and mind game for your opponent. While you don’t strictly need Earth Power for Garchomp, you’ll definitely want the option. To add, if you’re into optimizing your Raid Party, Earth Power is both Garchomp’s best Ground-type Charge Move.

While Garchomp is mostly a Master League only Pokemon, it does have some interesting meme potential in the Great League and Ultra League. Generally the lower League Garchomps run Sand Tomb, but for that reason Earth Power could be an unexpected nuke.

Garchomp PvP IVs: It’s a Master League Pokemon- build the 100%. If you are thrifting though, you’ll want a 15 Atk IV and at least a 14 Def IV for Zekrom, non-Best Buddy Dialga, and Best Buddy Dragonite. A 13 HP IV is also acceptable, but any less and you’re rolling the dice.

Mega Garchomp doesn’t stand out as much as other future potential Mega Master League Pokemon do. That said, if you’re building Garchomp for Master League you’re technically already building Mega Garchomp for Master League.

Jumpluff

Jumpluff

  • Best Moveset: Fairy Wind + Energy Ball + Acrobatics*
  • Used in: Great League

With the addition of Fairy Wind in Season 12, Jumpluff is now fast enough to more effectively bully the meta with Acrobatics. Energy Ball being such a poor attack still holds Jumpluff back, but Jumpluff’s advantages can overcome this weakness, as Jumpluff keeps finding itself in meta GBL teams and has topped several Play! Pokemon Regionals.

Jumpluff PvP IVs: The Jumpluff PvP IV Deep Dive currently only has information for Bullet Seed Jumpluff. The Bullet Seed IV spreads include Atk weights and shouldn’t be completely slept on, as future changes to Jumpluff could favor Bullet Seed. Fairy Wind Jumpluff on the other hand wants to focus on Def (>158.24, ideally >159) to overcome Altaria in the 2-2 and potentially the 1-1. This table should cover most of the better Fairy Wind Jumpluff IVs. These 6 more balanced bulk spreads are good too, but may struggle with some Altaria.

Swampert

Mega Swampert

Swampert

  • Best Moveset:Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon* + Earthquake/Sludge Wave
  • Used in: Great League and Ultra League
  • Mega Used in: Master League

If you've ever PvP'd, Swampert is a Pokemon that needs no introduction. Hydro Cannon is essential for this thing to devastate your opponents, and riding the thin line between "bulk" and "Charge Move Priority" can be difficult to master, especially with Shadow Swampert. If you don't have a Hydro Cannon Swampert yet, don't let this opportunity pass you by. If you've obtained options for Swampert or Shadow Swampert with higher bulk, or more bespoke slight Def weighted IVs, you may as well evolve them now.

Swampert PvP IVs: Wehaven't done a Swampert PvP IV Deep Dive yet, surprisingly enough. Fortunately, the PvP IV genius, RyanSwag, made an infographic highlighting the utility of having a slightly Def weighted Swampert. Here is a list of the Def weight IVsandCMP focused IVs. Both lists should be functional for both Shadow and non-Shadow Swampert.

Mega Swampert is the new beast on the block, aiming to take the throne from Mega Gyarados in the Mega Master League. Some say Mega Gyarados is too powerful to replace, highlighting thatit evencrushesthe battle toad. While that is true, Mega Swampert has a similar win rate and more shield pressure than the ferocious jumbo shrimp. Who will win??? Find out February 23rd, 2023.

Sylveon

Sylveon

  • Best Moveset: Charm + Psyshock* + Moonblast
  • Use in: All Leagues, mostly Ultra League

Nothing improves Charm users more than having a lower energy cost Charge Move and Psyshock happens to be Sylveon’s lowest energy cost Charge Move. The extra speed from Psyshock transformed Sylveon from a budget option in the Ultra League into arguably the best Charm user in the Ultra League. Psyshock also caused Sylveon to take over Shadow Gardevoir’s place in double Charm teams in the Master League Premier Cup. As with many other Pokemon in this article, if you’re going to be playing with Sylveon, you’ll want to be playing with Psyshock Sylveon.

Sylveon doesn’t see too much play in the Great League as Charm itself is relatively weak in the Open Great League. Cups that favor Charm however, could favor Sylveon.

Sylveon PvP IVs: Our Sylveon IV recommendations haven’t been revisited yet after the Season 13 Charm nerf. It’s hard to say precisely where most Charm users stand in todays meta.

Talonflame

Talonflame

  • Best Moveset: Incinerate* + Flame Charge + Brave Bird
  • Used in: Great League and Ultra League

Talonflame is one of the best Pokemon in the Ultra League and is very powerful in the Great League, but only if it has Incinerate. If you missed out on evolving one last time or have better PvP IVs to choose from, you’ll want to make sure you evolve one for each League

Talonflame PvP IVs: Talonflame wants as much bulk as possible in both the Great League and the Ultra League. Given how important throwing your Charge Move or having that final Fast Move register is, you shouldn’t shirk on the bulk. That said, it’s advised to build a non-Best Buddy Talonflame for the Ultra League to keep the Best Buddy slot open for other Pokemon (i.e. Galar Stunfisk, Umbreon).

Venusaur

Mega Venusaur

Venusaur

  • Best Moveset: Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant* + Sludge Bomb
  • Used in: Great League and Ultra League
  • Mega Used in: Mega Master League and Raids

Like Swampert, Venusaur is a PvP powerhouse that needs no introduction. Both the normal and shadow variations are desired for both the Great League and Ultra League. This event gives trainers another opportunity to evolve their best options and get Frenzy Plant without spending an Elite TM.

Venusaur PvP IVs: The Venusaur PvP IV Deep Dive still holds up to this date, mainly because Venusaur shares a similar Atk weight for Charge Move Priority with Swampert, Sableye, and Froslass (among other Pokemon). The focus is on bulk, but having that baby bit extra Atk can pay off at higher levels of competition.

Mega Venusaur is mostly here for the Raid Bonus, but can hold its own in the current Mega Master League meta. Mega Gyarados, Landorus Therian Forme, Zarude, Zacian, and Togekiss are all potent picks for the Mega Master League and Mega Venusaur can subdue all of them. Outside of these matchups, Mega Venusaur can fall off faster than most Pokemon, getting walled by most Flying and Steel-types in the meta, so your mileage may vary.

Walrein

Walrein

  • Best Moveset: Powder Snow* + Icicle Spear* + Earthquake
  • Used in: Great League and Ultra League

Prior to Season 12, Walrein outright dominated the Great League and the Ultra League. While the Icicle Spear nerf has damaged Walrein’s speed significantly, Walrein is still one of the best Ice-types in the game for PvP. Not taking this opportunity to evolve the normal and shadow for both the Great League and Ultra League would be a mistake.

Walrein PvP IVs: We recently updated the Walrein PvP IV Deep Dive to reflect the Icicle Spear nerf. In the Great League, you either want max bulk or pick up the Azumarill Breakpoint so you can straight Earthquake it. In the Ultra League, you either want max bulk or cheeky mirror specific stat weights.

Shadow Walrein’s PvP IVs for Great League haven’t been added to the Deep Dive yet, but in general it wants >115 Def and at least 155 HP. However, there is a juicy Atk Breakpoint for the Trevenant 2-2 starting at 113.13 Atk for the Rank 1, up to 114.41 for the max Def Trevenant (the “best” Trevenant). This Atk weight can also have an improved Noctowl matchup, notably the 0-1, but most owls are rolling high Atk low Def already. Here’s a table featuring the high bulk IVs and a “goldilocks zone” for the Atk IVs. If you’re cutting corners on stats, Def is likely more safe to shave down than HP.

Very Good

Machamp

Machamp

  • Best Moveset: Counter + Cross Chop + Rock Slide
  • The Move your opponent fears: Payback
  • Used in: All Leagues, mostly Great League and Ultra League for Payback Machamp

What separates Machamp and Shadow Machamp from the previous Tier is that their Community Day Move, Payback, isn’t exactly their best move. However, Payback does have the potential to OHKO some of Machamp’s counters that think they’re in for a free meal. For example, in the Kanto Cup, Payback can enable Shadow Machamp to oneshot Hypno and Nidoqueen, two of its biggest threats. Even if your opponent smells the Payback and shields it, you at least got a shield in a matchup you otherwise wouldn’t (unless of course you were bluffing that you had Payback).

In short, if you forget to evolve Payback onto a Machamp and Shadow Machamp for Great League and Ultra League PvP (and Master League for good measure), you probably won’t be missing out. That said, Payback is easily the spice that can allow you climb up ranks in GO Battle League when the meta hits just right.

Machamp PvP IVs: For both Great League and Ultra League, both Machamp and Shadow Machamp prefer having high bulk, but don’t mind having a slight/moderate Atk weight. In the Ultra League specifically, a 175.5+ Atk stat can win CMP ties with other species.

Roserade

Roserade

  • Best Moveset: Poison Jab/Bullet Seed* + Weather Ball Fire* + Leaf Storm
  • Used in: Ultra League, occasionally Great League

When Roserade had its Community Day, giving it Bullet Seed and Weather Ball (Fire), it was still pretty weak. Future buffs to Poison Jab and Leaf Storm however have made Roserade a powerful option for the Great League and the Ultra League Premier Cup- of course, not without Weather Ball. While Roserade isn’t a top meta threat in either League, it’s still an option you’ll want to have for team building, meta shifts, and Cups.

Given how powerful Poison Jab is as a Fast Move, there is an argument to be made for it over Bullet Seed. To get the best of both worlds, you’ll want to evolve 2 Roserades for both the Great League and the Ultra League.

Roserade PvP IVs: Roserade’s PvP IVs haven’t been explored yet. Therefore, high SP is recommended, or potentially a slight Atk weight for CMP.

Alolan Sandslash

Alolan Sandslash

  • Best Moveset: Shadow Claw* + Ice Punch + Bulldoze
  • Used in: Great League and Ultra League

Alolan Sandslash isn’t exactly an all-star in PvP, but its neutral Ice+Ground coverage gives it a leg up over other Pokemon in cups. Shadow Claw gives it that much more of an edge over the competition, giving it super effective damage on Ghost and Psychic-type Pokemon. It’s been a while since we’ve had a cup that’s right for Alolan Sandslash (the Kanto Cup for example), but this is definitely a mon you won’t want to be without when the time comes.

Alolan Sandslash PvP IVs: Per the Alolan Sandslash PvP IV Deep Dive, the preference for both the Great League and Ultra League is towards high bulk/stat product. Given its cup utility, having a higher Atk weight can net game flipping breakpoints against Shadow Hypno, Mew, Alolan Marowak, and Lapras, which are all historically staples in the Kanto Cup. It doesn’t hurt anything to have them evolved on standby, so it could be worth looking into. Similar can be said for Ultra League Alolan Sandslash. Bulk is the focus, but some different Atk/Def/HP variations can confer unique benefits.

The Alolan Sandslash PvP IV Deep Dive doesn’t cover information specific to Shadow Alolan Sandslash. Our team hasn’t explored its subtle IV variations yet either, so evolve a few of your best looking ones to have your options open. Don’t even worry about Frustration for this one either, as Shadow Claw isn’t a Charge Move

Sandslash

Sandslash

  • Best Moveset: Mud Shot + Night Slash* + Earthquake
  • Used In: Great League

Kantonian Sandslash isn’t that great, but Shadow Kanto Sandslash has some real claws on it. As with its Alolan cousin, Shadow Kanto Sandslash isn’t exactly a PvP champion, but its movepool and speed isn’t to be underestimated. Generally Gliscor is going to be doing its job better, but should it get a new Fast Move or find itself in the right cup format, Shadow Kanto Sandslash can put in some serious work.


Kantonian Sandslash IVs: Kanto Sandslash gets a highlight in the Alolan Sandslash PvP IV Deep Dive. The main thing to know is that it shares a similar Atk stat as Venusaur, Swampert, Sableye, and Froslass. If you’re not winning CMP on them, then you’re probably getting OHKO’d by their Charge Moves.

Umbreon

Umbreon

  • Best Moveset: Snarl + Foul Play + Last Resort*
  • The Move Fighting and Poison-types fear: Psychic*
  • Used in: Great League and Ultra League, mostly Great League for Psychic Umbreon

As with Payback Machamp, Psychic isn’t Umbreon’s bread and butter move. While Psychic sounds good on paper, covering Umbreon’s vulnerabilities to key Fighting and Poison-type Pokemon, it does give Umbreon new found problems with opposing Dark-type Pokemon. If you want to spice it up and run both Community Day attacks, you now have problems with Sableye and Steel-types. At the end of the day, Psychic is good enough to warrant having, especially in the Great League, but you’ll want Last Resort on your bulkiest Umbreon.

Umbreon PvP IVs: In the Great League, Umbreon wants high SP with a slight favor towards Def. Basically, since every Umbreon wants to be the “Rank 1 SP,” BP minded opponents might not consider Def weights higher than the Rank 1’s. As for Ultra League, you want the hundo, but the 14/14/13 is “acceptable.” Check out the Eeveelutions PvP IV Deep Dive for more details.

Worth Considering

Hydreigon

Hydreigon

  • Best Moveset: Bite + Brutal Swing*
  • Used in: Raids

While PvP is a larger focus of this guide, Brutal Swing Hydreigon’s utility as the best non-mega Dark-type for raids shouldn’t be overlooked.

Luxray

Luxray

  • Best Moveset: Spark/Snarl + Psychic Fangs* + Wild Charge
  • Used in: Great League and Ultra League

Luxray rides the line between threatening and glass-cannon “meme.” It has proven itself enough time in cups where you shouldn’t sleep on it or its shadow forme entirely. If Spark gets buffed, Luxray could become more of a contender.

Obstagoon

Obstagoon

  • Best Moveset: Counter + Night Slash + Cross Chop
  • Used in: Great League and Ultra League

Obstruct may be Obstagoon’s signature move in the main series games, but in Pokemon GO it feels more like Night Slash is. Obstruct is a good move on paper, 40 energy to increase your Def and decrease your opponent’s Def by 1 stage. It has low base power, so the intent is to bait shields from your opponent with it. The trouble is, Obstagoon doesn’t really bait shields. Most often, Goon is throwing Night Slash. And your opponent will never shield that Night Slash because of the boost chance making the next Night Slash hit harder.

This puts Obstruct in a pretty awkward spot overall. It’s not a bad move, it’s well worth having an Obstagoon evolved for both the Great League and Ultra League that has it, but you probably won’t be using it often.


Obstagoon PvP IVs: The Obstagoon PvP IV Deep Dive highlights the higher than usual Atk IVs that can bring out Obstagoon’s potential in the Great League and Ultra League. It’s worth noting that most of the combos account for Night Slash and Cross Chop, so an Obstruct Obstagoon may not get the full value from having a heavy Atk weight.

Samurott

Samurott

  • Best Moveset: Fury Cutter + Hydro Cannon* + Mega Horn/Blizzard
  • Used in: Great League and Ultra League

In most cases, Samurott is a worse Empoleon or Swampert. That said, Samurott doesn’t have the weaknesses a sub-type can bring and has unique Bug-type coverage. Generally these aren’t advantages, but on the right team or in the right format it could be helpful. For example, after the Charm nerf, Dark-types have been on the rise. Guess who has Mega Horn?

Serperior

Serperior

  • Best Moveset: Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant* + Leaf Tornado
  • Used in: Great League

In general, Serperior is the "debuff meme" version of Meganium. Leaf Tornado only having a 50% debuff chance and Grass as a mono-type damage being easily walled keeps Serperior from having any notable impact in most metas. In cups where there is less resistance to Grass-Grass-Grass, Serperior can be quite the menace though.If Aerial Ace ever gets buffed, Serperior may find a niche there too.

Could Get Buffed

Bewear

Bewear is a very ok Pokemon in PvP, just not with Drain Punch. Stomp and Superpower are its go to moves, and Stomp is just not great. Given how underwhelming Drain Punch is on paper, there is potential for it to get buffed in the future. Either a buff to energy to reach the Def buffs sooner or a buff to damage to close fights out while buffing could do wonders for Bewear.

Emboar

Emboar didn't get Double Kick. Emboar can't even learn Double Kick in the main series games. But you know that this Fire-type starter packing Rock Slide, Focus Blast, and Blast Burn would love a solid energy gaining Fast Move. It'd probably be as good as Blaziken, which isn't saying a lot, but compared to where Emboar is right now, maybe it is.

Dusknoir

Dusknoir is 1 Shadow Claw away from competing with Cofa*grigus. Dusknoir's stats generally aren't better than Cofa*grigus's, but Dusknoir does have Return and a Shadow Forme as options to set it apart.

Glaceon

Glaceon has historically had respect in the Master League, being a mono-Ice-type Pokemon with Ice Shard and Icy Wind. These days, it's not quite enough to keep up. If Water Pulse had improved stats and/or a debuff chance added, it could breath new life into it. As it stands, Water Pulse is too slow and soft hitting to justify using.

Alolan Golem

"Put Rollout back to 14 energy, cowards."

-Dunsparce & Miltank, probably

Staraptor

Staraptor is a decent closer in the Great League and Ultra League, with Wing Attack. Staraptor's Community Day Move is Gust though, and Gust is objectively not-good. If Gust got buffed, it's hard to say if it'd be justified using over Wing Attack. With nuke-focused Pokemon like Staraptor, sometimes the improved closing and/or farming power of a higher damage Fast Move can pull it ahead. Gust isn't exactly there right now.

Ursaluna

Shadow Claw.

Not Good

Chandelure

Dragonite

Gigalith

Vaporeon

Jolteon

Flareon

Espeon

Leafeon

December 2022 Community Day Catch Guide (2024)

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